We Dr. Sarno people knew it after reading his books, but this is good validation of TMS, recently posted on Facebook: Stress-Related Back Pain By: William W. Deardorff, PhD, ABPP Although it is generally accepted that emotional stress or psychological factors can make any back pain problem worse, the concept of “stress-related” back pain takes this idea one step further. The diagnosis of stress-related back pain assumes that psychological and emotional factors are of primary influence. The stress-related back pain diagnosis is a "psychosomatic" or "psycho-physiological" one. A psycho-physiological illness is any illness in which physical symptoms are thought to be the direct result of psychological or emotional factors. This diagnosis means that psychological factors either initiated or are maintaining the back pain, or both. It should be emphasized that even though psychological factors may be causing the physical symptoms, the symptoms are not imaginary. They are very real physical problems (such as back pain), which are being impacted upon by emotional factors. The History of Stress Related Back Pain John Sarno, M.D., a physician and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York University, has recently popularized the idea of stress-related back pain, which he terms “Tension Myositis Syndrome” (TMS), although the concept can be traced to as early as the 1820s. In Dr. Edward Shorter’s book, From Paralysis to Fatigue, the history of psychosomatic illnesses is described. One such diagnosis developed in the 1820’s is "spinal irritation" and this is essentially equivalent to the modern day idea of stress-related back pain. The diagnosis of spinal irritation was quite popular and spread throughout many parts of the world at that time.